As our flight levels out at 30,000 feet over a sunset illuminated skyline I wanted to take time to recap the most recent adventure. I traveled this weekend to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to compete in the Step Up for Special Olympics climb at the BNY Mellon building. The climb took us up 53 of the 54 floors of the building and for a great cause. Already planning on being in Eastern PA for a fire department event it was an opportunity to extend the trip and let me judge where I am at for the larger “Super Bowl” event in March at the Scott Firefighter Stair Climb. It was the last one on my side of the Mississippi until after the first of the year and I didn’t want to slow down. Who knows, maybe if I run across another one I’ll pick it up.
This was my first trip to Philly other than using the airport a few times and I must admit it took some getting used to. Parking, traffic signal locations, and some of the traffic patterns were quite fun for a newb to the city. There is plenty to see in the City of Brotherly Love if you happen to be headed in for an event. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania Fire Hall, the steps from the movie Rocky, and overall some very interesting architecture were part of several stops for me in my short time there. I look forward to getting back there and seeing more history.
This was a civilian climb so no specific groups for first responders, but it didn’t matter because I was competing against myself to get a time. The fire gear definitely got some comments for my PGFD friend and myself as to why we do this. As one parent of kindergarten aged children put it, “it was like the kids seeing Santa Claus to see a firefighter in gear,” they were pretty happy. Doing these events is part of a much bigger thing and taking a moment to talk to someone can make the difference!
I must say the staging area was a little different than I was used to at the larger climbs, but it flowed well. Not much in the way of swag, but the food and water were well taken care of and gave me what I needed.
What did I learn from this trip to Philly? There is definitely no off-season and I need to keep pushing forward to stay prepared. As of when I am writing this post they have not released the times so I can see how it compares to my last one. I know where I need to be and what I want to see by March.
More than anything, hearing our total raised to benefit Special Olympics was quite a reward. $25,000 was raised today by participants and going to an excellent cause!
Be hungry my brothers, keep breaking goals and setting new ones!
CLIMB CONQUER CURE!